Pomegranate- proven health benefits, uses and recipes

The scientific name of the pomegranate is Punica granatum. Other names include


DANISH : Granatæble.

DUTCH : Granaatappel.

ESTONIAN : Harilik granaadipuu.

FRENCH : Ecorce de grenade (rind), Ecorce de grenadier (écorce-bark), Grenade (fruit), Grenadier (tree).

GERMAN : Granatapfel, Granatapfelbaum, Granatapfelstrauch, Granatwurzelrinde (rind).

GREEK : Rodi, Rodia.

ITALIAN : Granato , Granato a frutto dolce, Melagrana, Melograno, Pomogranato.

JAPANESE : Zakuro, Zakuro, Zakuro.

KOREAN : Seog ryu

MALAY : Buah delima, Delima (Indonesia), Delima (Bali).

NEPALESE : Anaar, Daariim.

NORWEGIAN : Granateple.

RUSSIAN : Granat.

SANSKRIT : Darimba, Madhubiija.

SPANISH : Granada, Granado, Mangrano.

THAI : Ma ko, Thap thim.

Pomegranate has been in traditional medicinal use for more than 3000 years. It is a shrub growing 2 to 3 meters high. Flowers are red and showy, usually with six segments in the calyx which are 2.5 to 3 centimeters long. Petals are obovate, about 2 centimeters long. Stamens are numerous. Fruit is rounded, reddish-yellow or purplish, 7 to 10 centimeters in diameter. Rind is thin, tough, and brittle. Fruit contains numerous seeds, each seed surrounded by a watery, translucent, flavorful pinkish-red pulp. It is grown in all tropical countries.

Pomegranate is ripe when its skin is vibrant, glossy and smooth: some variants will be light pink; others golden; and some deep red. When unripe, pomegranates are green and have white lackluster seeds. If unsure, gauge the weight of the fruit: it should feel heavy for its size and. When tapped, it should offer a thudding, dense sound that indicates its juiciness.

As a pomegranate ages, its skin becomes granular and withered, and its sheen gives way to a dull brown hue. However, arils within the pomegranate often retain their integrity and delicious flavor for quite some time after the skin loses its luster. Thus, open a pomegranate before discarding: if the membrane has blackened and the arils have turned brown and mushy, the fruit has gone bad. Use the color and shape of the arils as the best determinant of a pomegranate’s ripeness

Nutrition value and facts

– Fruit is rich in vitamin C; a good source of iron.

– Fruit contains vitamin C, citric and malic acids. Eaten green as boiled vegetable; ripe, iced and sugared.

– Study yielded ellagic acid ellagitannins (including punicalagins), punicic acid, flavonoids, anthocyanidins, anthocyanins, estrogenic flavonols and flavones.

– Pomegranate juice yields anthocyanins, glucose, ascorbic acid, ellagic acid, gallic acid, caffeic acid, catechin, quercetin, rutin, minerals, and amino acids.

– Seed oil yields 95% punicic acid, pluellagic acid, fatty acids and sterols.

– Pericarp yields phenolic punicalagins, gallic acid, other fatty acids, catechin, EGCG, quercetin, rutin, other flavanoids, flavones, flavonones, anthocyanins.

– Flowers yield gallic acid, ursolic acid, triterpenoids, including maslinic and asiatic acid.

– Leaves yield tannins (punicalin and punicafolin) and flavone glycosides, including luteolin and apigenin.

– Bark yields four alkaloids: pelletierine, isopelletierine, methyl-pelletierine, and pseudo-pelletierine; roots and bark yield ellagitannins (punicalin and punicalagin) and piperidine alkaloids.

– Phytochemical evaluation of various flower extracts yielded steroids, saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, tannins and proteins.

– A 100 gm of pomegranate has about 83 calories. It contains about

18.7g Carb (6% RDI)

4g Fiber (16% RDI)

1.7g Protein (3% RDI)

10.2mg Vitamin C (17% RDI)

.6mg Vitamin E (3% RDI)

16.4mcg Vitamin K (21% RDI)

.1mg Thiamin (4% RDI)

.1mg Riboflavin (3% RDI)

.1mg Vitamin B6 (4% RDI)

38mcg Folate (10% RDI)

.4mg Pantothenic Acid (4% RDI)

.3mg Iron (2% RDI)

12mg Magnesium (3% RDI)

36mg Phosphorous (4% RDI)

236mg Potassium (7% RDI)

.4mg Zinc (2% RDI)

.2mg Copper (8% RDI)

.1mg Manganese (6% RDI)


Medicinal properties and uses of pomegranate

– In Indian traditional medicine, considered astringent, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, laxative, diuretic, stomachic, cardiotonic and refrigerant.

– In Iran, flowers used as astringent, hemostatic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral.

– Pelletierine is considered anti-taeniacidal; isopelletierine, antihelmintic.

– Rind of the fruit is astringent.

– Seeds are stomachic; pulp is cardiacal and stomachic.

– Leaves, seeds, bark and roots considered hypotensive, antispasmodic and anthelmintic.

– Bark is considered antibacterial, antiviral and astringent.

– Seeds are demulcent and stomachic.

Parts used

Roots, flowers, seeds and fruit rinds.

Folkloric traditional medicine remedies and uses

– Decoction of root bark used for tapeworm.

– Decoction of tender leaves used as gargle for buccal afflictions.

– Decoction of roots used for tuberculosis, chronic debility, chronic feverishness.

– Decoction of leaves used as eyewash.

– Powdered flower buds used for bronchitis.

-Decoction of juice of the flower with equal parts of Cynodon dactylon used to stop epistaxis and as gargle.
Infusion of flowers used as vermifuge.

– The bark (alkaloids) used for tapeworms.

– Rind of the fruit and flowers, combined with aromatics such as cloves, cinnamon, coriander or pepper, are used as astringent in bowel affections not associated with tenesmus.

– Decoction of the dried rind of the fruit used for stomach pains and dysentery; infusion used for colitis.

– Juice believed to be beneficial for leprosy.

– Bark, leaves and immature fruit (tannins) used as astringents for diarrhea, dysentery and hemorrhages.

– Dried pulverized flower buds used for bronchitis.

– In India, rind of fruit used for diarrhea.

– In Cuban traditional medicine, used for treatment of respiratory diseases.

– In traditional Thai medicine, used for diarrhea.

– Juice of fresh fruit used for dyspepsia and as a cooling and thirst-quenching drink for fevers.

– The Chinese and Annamites use the rind of the fruit and root bark as vermifuge.

– In Mexico, decoction of flowers used a gargle for throat inflammation.

– In Indian traditional medicine, use for diarrhea.

– In Myanmar, decoction of dried bark of stem and root used as taeniafuge.

– In Iran, flowers used as remedy for cut wounds, bronchitis, diarrhea, digestive problems, male sex power reconstitution. In Unani medicine, used for diabetes.

– In China, flowers used for premature graying of hair in young men.

Ink prepared from fruit rind.

Scientific proven evidence based health benefits and uses of pomegranate

Therapeutic Potentials:

Numerous Studies in vitro, animal, and clinical trials have shown pomegranate to be a potent antioxidant, superior to red wine and equal to or better than green tea. It has also shown anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial properties, with beneficial effects in various disease processes such as Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis, neonatal brain injury, male infertility.

Antibacterial Activity:

Extracts exhibited antimicrobial activity against all organisms except P aeruginosa. Study suggests the potential of bioactive compounds to be developed from P. granatum pericarp for use in treatment of GIT bacterial infection.

Antifungal / Stomatitis:

Use of Punica granatum as an antifungal agent against candidosis associated with denture stomatitis: Study concludes that the extract of P. granatum may be useful as a topical antifungal for the treatment of candidiasis associated with denture stomatitis. Study evaluated the efficacy of Punica granatum extract on the clinical management of recurrent aphthous stomatitis.

Inhibitory Effects on Verocytotoxin Production by E. coli:

Phytochemical screening yielded sterols, flavonoids, triterpenes, phenols and tannins. The study showed high activity against all strains of E. coli. A bioactive agent may be developed from Punica granatum pericarp as an alternative treatment for E. coli O157:H7 infection.

• Antidiarrheal / Seed:

Study of methanol extract of P granatum seed extract showed significant inhibitory activity against castor-oil induced diarrhea and PGE2 induced enteropooling in rats. Results establish the efficacy of PG seed extract as an antidiarrheal agent.

• Antiviral:

Study of aqueous extracts of the whole fruits have shown activity against the influenza virus.

• Analgesic Activity:

Study of flower extracts of P. granatum showed significant analgesic activity.

• Antibacterial Activity:

In a study of 21 plants extracts from five Thai medicinal plants, tested against Staph aureus and E col;i, the ethanolic extract of P granatum possessed the most outstanding in vitro antibacterial activity.

• Genotoxicity:

Study evaluated the genotoxicity of a hydroalcoholic whole fruit extract of Punica granaturm. Results of in vivo and in vitro assays detected DNA damage at different expression levels.

• Antibacterial / Multi-Drug Resistant Salmonella typhi:

In a study of 54 plant methanol and aqueous extracts on activity against multi-drug resistant Salmonella typhi, P granatum methanol extract was one of those that strong antibacterial activity.


In vitro assay showed the pomegranate juice and seed extract to have 2-3 times the antioxidant capacity of either red wine or green tea. Extracts have been shown to scavenge free radicals and decrease macrophage oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in animals.

• Hepatoprotective/ protects liver:

Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of pomegranate peel extract against the toxic effects of CCl4. Histopath studies supported the protective effects of the methanolic extract of pomegranate peel by restoring the normal hepatic architecture.

• Anticarcinogenic:

In vitro assay using three prostate cancer cell lines demonstrated the extracts of juice, seed oil and peel to significantly inhibit prostate cancer cell invasiveness and proliferation, cause cell cycle disruption, induce apoptosis and inhibit tumor growth.

• Anti-Prostate Cancer / Fruit: Fruit extract has shown inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth, inducing apoptosis of several prostate cancer cell lines, suppress invasive potential and decrease proliferation of prostate cancer cells.

• Anti-Inflammatory / COX-Inhibition: Cold pressed pomegranate seed oil have been shown to inhibit both COX and lipooxygenase enzymes in vitro study.

• Anti-Inflammatory:

Study showed evidence of the bioavailability and bioactivity of compounds in pomegranate fruit after oral ingestion. Results suggest that PFE-derived bioavailable compounds may exert anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting inflammatory cytokine-induced production of PGE-2 and NO in vivo.

• Toxicity / Safety Studies:

Toxic effects of P granatum fruit extract only occurred at higher doses than those effective in models where the anti-viral activity has been studied or those doses used in Cuban folk medicine.

Wound Healing / Flowers:

Study of ethanolic extract of Punica granatum flowers showed significant wound healing activity when topically administered in rats. Best results of histopathological evaluation were also obtained with P granatum.

Wound Healing / Peel:

Study of methanolic extracts of dried pomegranate peels showed high content of phenolic compounds (44%) along with other constituents. Analysis also showed the presence of gallic acid and catechin as major components. Animals treated showed moderate to good healing depending on the concentration of the gel formulation.

Stress Reducing:

Study showed pomegranate juice to have benefits in reducing chronic stress. The study was funded by a pomegranate juice company.


In a study of an aqueous suspension of the fruit rind powder of Punica granatum was found to stimulate the cell-mediated and humoral components of the immune system in rabbits.

• Antioxidant / Fruit Rind Extract:

Study of aqueous and alcoholic fruit rind extracts showed good antioxidant effect. Phenolic compounds, tannins, and flavonoids were the major phytochemicals in both extracts.

Antitumor / Prostate Cell Line by Apoptosis Induction: A study evaluated ethanol extracts of Punica granatum L. var. spinosa for possible cytotoxic activity on human prostate cell lines. Results showed dose-depended suppression of proliferation of PC3 cells with in vitro attenuation of human prostate cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis.

• Dental Plaque Effects / Fruit:

Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of P. granatum fruit for antibacterial effect on dental plaque microorganisms. Results showed both HAEP and chlorhexedine were effective against Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, and Proteus species, as well as E. coli. Antibacterial activity was attributed to the ellagitannin, punicalagin.

• Antidiabetic and Lipid Effects / Crude Husk Powder:

Study showed a decreased in glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, and increase in HDL in normal and alloxan induced diabetic rats treated with crude powder of husk.

• Antidiarrheal / Peels:

Study on an aqueous extract of Punica granatum peels showed antidiarrheal activity with concentration dependent inhibition of spontaneous movement of isolated rat ileum and attenuation of acetylcholine-induced contractions and dose-dependent decrease of gastrointestinal transits against castor oil-induced diarrhea enteropooling.

Anti-Inflammatory / Membrane Stabilizing / Fruit Peel:

Study of various extracts of fruit peel showed anti-inflammatory and membrane stabilizing properties. Methanol and ethyl acetate extracts showed better activity attributed to their higher phenolic contents.

Antifungal / Malassezia / Leaves:

Study evaluated the antifungal activity of various extracts of P. granatum leaves against Malassezia species which commonly cause superficial skin infections in humans. Results showed methanol crude extract and ethyl acetate fraction exhibited the highest antifungal activity.

• Anti-Ulcerogenic / Peel:

Study evaluated the anti-ulcerogenic effects of pomegranate peel methanol extract on male Wistar albino rats on indomethacin induced gastric mucosal damage. Results showed curative potential attributed to its high antioxidant activity.

Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis:

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 40 patients evaluated the efficacy of Punica granatum gel vs placebo gel on the clinical management of recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Findings reveal the PG extract in form of a 10% oral gel may be beneficial in reducing RAS pain and reducing overall period of complete healing.

• Radioprotective / Fruit Rind Aphthous Stomatitis:

Study evaluated the radioprotective potential of Punica granatum fruit rind extract. Results showed protection of mouse testes against radiation induced damage, possibly through scavenging of free radicals and increasing antioxidant status. Results also suggest potential for restoring fertility in irradiated patients.

• Anti-Proliferative / Pro-Apoptotic / Human Myeloid Leukemia Cell Lines:

Study of aqueous extract from P. sacharosa, E. elatior, and P. granatum showed dose dependent inhibition of cell proliferation in MV4-11 and K562 leukemic cells mainly via apoptosis mechanism.

• Anthelmintic / Fruit Peel:

Study of methanolic extract of fruit peel of P. granatum showed dose dependent anthelmintic activity against earthworm Pheretima posthuma.

• Anticonvulsant / Seed:

Study evaluated the anticonvulsant effect of an ethanolic extract of P. granatum in strychnine (STR)-induced and pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizure models in rats. An ethanol extract showed dose-dependent anticonvulsant activity against STR- and PTZ-induced seizure models, attributed to its saponin, flavonoids, triterpenes and alkaloid ingredients.

• Gold Nanoparticles Synthesis / Juice / Catalytic Activity:

Study reports the synthesis of AuNPs using the juice of Punica granatum. The synthesized colloidal AuNPs have been utilized as catalyst for the borohydride reduction of 4-nitrophenol. Results suggest a potential for biomedical applications as well as nanoscience and nanotechnology.

• Therapeutic Potential for Neurodegenerative Disorders:

Study investigated the possible protective effects of different extracts of promegranate against SGD-induced PC12 cells injury. Results showed concentration dependent suppression of DNA damage by various extracts of pulp and juice, indicating a cytoprotective property under SGD conditions in PC12 cells, suggesting a therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative disorders.

• Potential Biogas Fermentation with P. granatum Peel:

Study of biogas fermentation with P. granatum peel at total fermentation time of 35d was 1900mL. The biogas yield of P. granatum peel was calculated at 264 mL/g TS or 271 mL/g VS.

• Pleiotropic Cardiac Effects in Induced Cardiac Hypertrophy:

Study of P. granatum exhibits pleiotropic cardiac effects in PAAC-induced cardiac hypertrophy in a dose dependent manner possibly through its PPAE (peroxisome proliferator activated receptor) dual agonist action.

Storage tips:

Pomegranates will not continue to ripen once picked. Thus, it is not necessary to wait for them to grow sweeter or redder: Any pomegranate bought from the store will be ready for immediate consumption. This is especially important to keep in mind, considering that others have purchased a golden skin variant with the expectation that it would turn red.

Whole pomegranates keep for one month on the counter and up to two months in the refrigerator.

Store pomegranate arils in a container and place in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for approximately two weeks.

Pomegranate seeds can also be frozen and used throughout the year. Spread the arils on wax paper on a baking tray: Once frozen, place in a baggie.

Pomegranate Recipe Ideas and Uses:

Pomegranates are exceptionally versatile. They can make several dishes brighter, sweeter, or earthier, depending. The crunchiness of the seeds also enhances the texture of dishes.

-Top sparkling beverages or teas with a few pomegranate seeds

-Layer hummus with pomegranate seeds to add a hint of sweetness and enhance the color. They also make an exceptional addition to guacamole and salsas.

-Add to salads, particularly those with ingredients such as vegan cheese, berries, persimmons and apples. Perhaps surprisingly, pomegranates work well as a strawberry substitute in most salad recipes.

-Sprinkle atop cakes, cupcakes and cheesecakes. Also, pomegranate seeds can be folded into batters of muffins, cookies and other sweet breads.

-Use the juice to make sorbet or gelato.

-Add to oatmeal or mueslis.

-Use the juice to make wine or alcoholic drinks like a pom martini or a margarita

-Add to quinoa, barley,or rice.

-Sprinkle on glazed or roasted vegetables; particularly fall favorites like squash, pumpkin and cauliflower.

Dip pomegranate seeds in chocolate, stirring in an assortment of nuts.

-Stir whole seeds into cocktails like mojitos, champagne, and martinis.

-Add to yogurt.

Note: Whole pomegranate seeds do not work well in smoothies. Extract the juice before adding; otherwise, the taste is unpleasantly granular.

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